First-Year Courses


505. Civil Procedure

4 hours. Fall. This course examines the litigation process, by which civil litigation disputes are resolved in court. It entails study of the allocation of judicial power between federal and state courts, with particular attention to the jurisdiction, venue, and trial and appellate practice in the federal courts. Specific aspects of the litigation process include pleading, discovery, adjudication, including the function and control of juries, and post-trial motions. The course also engages problems inherent in a federal system of adjudication, including the roles of federal and state law as rules of decision.


530. Constitutional Law I

4 hours. Spring.  An introductory study of the United States Constitution, including judicial review, the powers of Congress, the powers of the president, and the interrelationship of state and national governments. Includes an introduction to individual rights, with emphasis on the operation of the Fourteenth Amendment due process and equal protection clauses, First Amendment problems, and evolving doctrines of privacy.


520. Contracts

4 hours. Fall. A study of the basic principles governing the formation, performance, enforcement, and imposition of contractual obligations, and the role of these principles in the ordering processes of society. 


525. Criminal Law

3 hours. Spring. A study of common and statutory criminal law, including origin and purpose; classification of crimes; elements of criminal liability and the development of the law respecting specific crimes; emphasis on the trend toward codification; and the influence of the Model Penal Code, including a study of the circumstances and factors that constitute a defense to, or alter and affect, criminal responsibility.


575. Legislation and Regulation

2 hours.  Fall.  This course introduces students to the central role of legislatures and administrative agencies in the practice of law today, addressing how statutes and regulations are generated, changed, and interpreted.  This course is a primary building block for Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Legislation, and numerous specialized upper-level courses such as Employment Law, Environmental Law, Intellectual Property, International Trade Law, and Securities Law.


545. Property

4 hours. Spring. An introduction to alternative theories of property rights, the division of property rights over time (common law estates, landlord-tenant law), concurrent ownership, private land use controls (easements, covenants), and public land use controls (eminent domain, zoning).


535A, 535B. Research, Writing, and Appellate Advocacy

4 hours total. An introduction to law and sources of law, legal bibliography and research techniques and strategies, the analysis of problems in legal terms, the writing of an office memorandum of law and an appellate brief, and the presentation of a case in appellate oral argument.


550. Torts

4 hours. Fall. A study of compensation for personal and property damages growing out of negligence, intent, or strict liability, with special attention given to nuisance, misrepresentation, defamation, and privacy. Certain concepts, such as proximate cause and privilege, are considered in depth. Social policies underlying tort law prevention and loss shifting are analyzed.